MUTATION

Aggressive Strain of HIV Found in Cuba

Scientists have discovered a new form of HIV in Cuba that could progress to AIDS within three years if left untreated, compared to other strains that usually take six to 10 years, according to a recent study. Researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium monitored 73 patients who tested negative for HIV within three years but who recently contracted the virus. The patients infected with the mutated strain, which is a combination of three subtypes of human immunodeficiency virus, progressed to AIDs within three years, the study found. However, none of those patients received any treatment before the infection progressed to AIDs. Researchers are concerned the new strand could shorten the timeframe in which those infected can seek treatment before it becomes full-blown AIDs.